Rum doesn't tend to be first on most people's lists when approaching the cocktail scene. Its history lends itself to associations with summer parties and wild nights. In fact, high-end rum has only found a home behind bars over the past few years. CH headed down to Macao Trading Co in Manhattan's TriBeCa neighborhood to learn how to replace those youthful memories with a sophisticated—but not overly complex—cocktail that can be sipped in the summer, but will hold well in the fall.
Created by Macao's Danilo Bozovic, the Lucy June introduces the sweetness of a thick pear purée and simple syrup to the acidity of fresh lemon juice. Three dashes of Dale DeGoff's Pimento bitters create an all-spice sensation, and Brugal Extra Dry Rum is included as the unifying factor.
This cask-aged white rum—a rarity in the rum world—works nicely with the pear, according to principal bartender Gabriel Lehner, because it allows the "fruitiness to take on a greater role." He also notes that "the dry rum keeps it clean at the same time." Brugal's Extra Dry doesn't taste spicy or sugar-saturated—two default routes of rum. Instead, it compliments the other ingredients with smooth drinkability, while also packing a punch. The Lucy June is frothy, textured and balanced, and although the taste is complex, it's easy to make. While the citrus is summery, the pear feels like fall, and the warmth of the bitters makes this a drink to keep sipping as the seasons change.
To make the Lucy June at home and explore the intelligent side of rum, follow these steps:
2 oz. Brugal Extra Dry Rum
1.5 oz. Boiron Pear Purée
.75 oz. Fresh lemon juice
.5 oz. Enriched simple syrup
3 dashes of Dale DeGroff Pimento bitters
Shake first four ingredients together, strain over ice in a coupe glass. Finish with three dashes of pimento bitters.
Images courtesy of Brugal Rum